Chipping played host to current league leaders Charnock Richard at the weekend as the two high flying sides played out a highly competitive draw. Chipping led twice but both times Charnock managed to equalise and on the final whistle they both had to settle for a share of the points.
The home side found themselves in front early as they flew out of the blocks and put Charnock on the back foot from the word go. They got forward three times before they were rewarded with a goal which came from a freekick 20 yards out. A host of Chipping players stood over the ball and more filled the box but there was only going to be one man for the job. Hollis stepped up and curled a delightful finish directly into the top corner, somewhat of a speciality for him this season. However the early timing of Chippings first goal served as a wake up call for Charnock and they started to fight back. The visitors managed to equalise in a slightly dubious manor not long after when a ball, which the linesman had adjudged out of play but was overruled by the referee, was cut back into the box and easily tucked away. The game settled a little and both sides played some tidy football. The midfield battle was an interesting spectacle all afternoon, Kucper and Holt breaking up the play and a composed R Green distributing the ball with a high success rate. Chipping did look the better of the two sides but it was by a fine margin and it was clear to all in attendance that either side had the ability and opportunity to take the lead. To the delight of Chipping manager Eccles it was to be his side who struck next. Hollis was involved again when his ball into the box from another freekick was met by the head of Walmsley, who rose above his marker to head beyond the goalkeeper, to put his side into the accession once more.
The lead was not to last, however, and just before the stroke of half time Charnock drew level for a second time. A rare mistake from Chipping goalkeeper Rosinski from a cross allowed the forward an easy headed equaliser to put the sides back on terms before the break.
The second half was a very evenly fought contest between two good footballing sides. Another sterling performance in midfield from Kucper allowed the home side to dominate possession but they could not make it pay despite numerous efforts. The defensive partnership of Coupe and Walmsley kept the Charnock strikers at bay for the most part as both teams squeezed for the equaliser as the minutes ticked by. The game looked to be a done deal when five minutes from time a Chipping corner found Walmsley and he headed goalwards again. As the Charnock players stood and looked on helplessly the woodwork came to their rescue and denied Chipping a winner right at the death.
The game finished 2-2 and that was probably fair after a great game between two worthy opponents. Both sides are still in the title race along with four others in what promises to be one of the closest finishes to a season in recent years. They could yet also face each other again in the league cup semi final which is to be drawn this week.
Chipping continue their push for promotion this Saturday away against Cottam Corinthians, 2.30pm KO.